'We are not trying to ruin Christmas': UPS Store deletes tweets offering to shred children's letters to Santa

Company's PR and social media manager shares the inside story on the controversial Christmas tweets.

SAN DIEGO: The UPS Store has deleted two tweets after posting what some Twitter users viewed as a Grinchy message. But its PR and social media manager, Staci Reidinger, wants consumers to know the company is not out to ruin Christmas.

On Sunday, the UPS Store tweeted, "If your child addresses a letter to the North Pole, you can leave it with us. We do shredding."

Initially, the tweet got a lot of fun responses, but then comments from offended Twitter users started pouring in, explained Reidinger. It went viral, amassing 5,000 retweets and coverage by outlets such as Time magazine, Fox News, USA Today, and CNBC.  

"People thought we were ruining Christmas and viewed it in a negative way, and that wasn’t the intent whatsoever," she said. "So after seeing those initial negative responses starting to grow, we thought it was best for our brand to take down the first tweet and put up a second tweet."

The UPS Store deleted the tweet at 11 a.m. PST and posted another tweet explaining the first one.

"In case you are worried, we are just huge spreadsheet people and we share a doc with Santa. So of course we will add all the Christmas wishes to that list before we shred and recycle your letters responsibly," the second tweet said.

Well, that tweet didn’t work out either, Reidinger said.

"We got more comments that went against our intent with the original post," she noted. "It wasn’t hitting that vibe we thought it would. We are trying to get in the holiday spirit, and it didn’t come out in the right way and properly represent our brand."

The second tweet was deleted within 20 minutes. UPS Store’s creative agency, EP+Co, handles community management of its social accounts.

"We work on strategy and they create, but I have final review," Reidinger explained. "We looked at it before it was posted. Just like I have the authority to post, I have the authority to unpost."

The decision to delete the tweets was done in-house.

"It takes quite a bit for us to take something down," continued Reidinger. "Oftentimes, we let conversations play out or we engage in a conversation within the thread instead of pulling the tweet down."

In this case, the company decided to delete them to quickly mitigate the "misconstrued" tweets.

"We have cultivated a fun, whimsical personality on Twitter over the past year," explained Reidinger. "With that, if you look at the past year, a lot of our tweets are surrounded by our profit centers, products, and services, and we try to present them in a fun way. For this tweet we put out for the holiday, it was talking about that shredding opportunity, which a lot of small business centers don’t realize we offer."

Reidinger said the company will avoid tweeting about this matter further. The UPS Store has other holiday tweets set up and Reidinger said she is taking a closer look at those to make sure they come across the right way.

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